Events Project Ocean Therapy SUP21km Fundraiser Event

Published on May 3rd, 2024 | by Supworldmagazine

Project Ocean Therapy SUP21km Fundraiser Event

Singapore’s SUP community rallies together at Sentosa to raise awareness for autism acceptance at Project Ocean Therapy SUP21km Fundraiser Event

Link to Fundraiser Campaign: https://chuffed.org/project/projectoceantherapy2024

Singapore, 3 May 2024 – In conjunction with World Autism Month in April, Grace Mission SG Limited hosted its third edition of the annual fundraiser event — Project Ocean Therapy (“POT”) SUP21km Autism Acceptance — on 27 April 2024 morning. Held at Siloso Beach in Sentosa, the annual affair rallied together ocean paddlers, persons with autism, their families and friends through paddling activities at the beach. The event aimed to foster inclusion through ocean sports, primarily through one of the world’s fastest-growing sports Stand Up Paddleboard (“SUP”).

With the support of two National Sports Associations, Singapore Canoe Federation and Surfing Association Singapore, this year’s event saw a more diversified range of avid ocean paddlers uniting to combat the signature 21km paddle challenge. 50 participants belonging to various paddle disciplines, including SUP, prone paddleboard, outrigger canoe and surf ski, gathered before the break of dawn all in the spirit of raising awareness for the cause.

In addition, beneficiaries from POT’s regular outreach programme, including youths with autism and their guardians, paddled the final five kilometres of the journey with the experienced paddlers as one united community. Closer to shore, beginner SUP and outrigger canoe tryout activities ran concurrently for first-timers to try.

All activities were made free for the community thanks to the ongoing fundraiser campaign for POT, as well as the support of resources and volunteers from water sports communities including SUP Ventures, Singapore Paddle Club, Ola Beach Club, AustCham Paddle Club and Constant Wind Sea Sport Centre.

Transformative power of the ocean

Mr Andrew Choo, co-founder of Grace Mission said, « We have been championing to make sea sports viable for persons with autism since my wife, Grace, and I started POT six years ago. Through SUP, we have witnessed the transformative power of the sea, where individuals with autism and their families discover not only the physical and mental health benefits of water sports but also the profound sense of courage, resilience and autonomy it fosters.”

Moved by the support from this year’s event, Choo added, “I am thankful that even through uncertain times trying to keep our initiative going, the extended ocean community in Singapore has come through in support to share our common love for the ocean and belief in the transformative potential our initiative can do to empower persons with autism.”

Strength in community and inclusion

One of the many paddlers who completed the 21km challenge was Singapore’s top SUP athlete and current president of the Singapore Paddle Club, Mr Ng Daojia. Last November, Ng led a group of 16 SUP athletes to represent Singapore for the first time in the 2023 ICF
SUP World Championships in Pattaya.

“While SUP may appear like an individualised sport, I am seeing great potential in the local SUP scene ever since the different clubs across Singapore started to focus on building and nurturing the community together in the recent year.”

Ng urges people to support sports inclusion through donations and volunteerism. “Just last year, we saw a young man with autism podiumed at one of the local races thanks to POT’s programme. By shaping a future where inclusivity and passion propel us forward, we can uncover more talents and help Singapore shine on the world’s stage.”

The ongoing fundraiser campaign will run till the end of May 2024. Funds raised will go towards helping the sustenance of POT, which includes:
● Scaling and further development of the sporting programme with improved resources.
● Nurturing skill sets and independence for children and young adults with autism with qualified coaches.
● Covering rental costs and keeping costs low for beneficiaries and their families.
● Creating accessibility and more value add for families living with special needs to benefit integrating sea sports as part of a healthy regular lifestyle.

Link to Fundraiser Campaign: https://chuffed.org/project/projectoceantherapy2024

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